It came down to the wire, in the closest spread between the top three finishers that anyone can remember. After yesterday's time trial, Alberto Contador only led Cadel Evans by 23 seconds, with Levi Leipheimer nipping at Evans' heels by 8 seconds more. Team Discovery kicked commanding butt this year, taking the overall GC lead, the best rookie rider, had two riders on the podium and three in the top ten, as well as taking the overall best team title by a huge margin. And although they're looking for a new sponsor since Discovery won't back them next year, I don't think they'll have much trouble. They've won 8 of the last 9 Tours. That's easy money. [Addendum, 10Aug07: Or not. According to VeloNews, the team is folding for lack of a continuing sponsor. Sic transit gloria Mundi.]
If Cadel Evans had gotten a little running room, he might have made a run for the lead there at the end, but if there's one thing Discovery knows how to do, it's protect a lead. The poor guy never had a chance. But on the bright side, he's the highest-placing Aussie ever at the Tour. He'll be back next near.
And so will Contador. At 24, he's one of the youngest winners ever. With a little more training and experience, he can only get better. Good years ahead for Team Discovery... [Or not: see above.] Well, not Discovery anymore, but you know what I mean.
And now that we've crowned a new King in Yellow, we can go back to waiting to see how the arbitrators rule on last year's case. Maybe we'll find out this week, maybe not.
I almost hope not. It'd be nice to give Contador some time to bask in his well-earned glory before that particular story breaks out again. He's the future, not the past. It's his time now.